Kratom is the Cure for the Opioid Crisis

Can you start by telling us your name? My name is Norm Bamford. Okay. Hey. Can you tell us why kratom is important to you personally? See back in September 11th 2001, I was in the air force. I was deployed immediately for Operation Enduring Freedom. I was continuously deployed for the next six years. Because I had such a pristine record, I had a higher than top secret security clearance. So. I have been sent to all of the world. I came back in 2007 with such severe PTSD that I couldn’t check my mail, every time the phone rang, I went into convulsions. I didn’t like talking to people. I hid from people. And then, I heard about kratom from my ex-wife, whose new husband was using it. I was dead-set against it. I never used narcotics, any drugs, anything like that, so I was dead-set against it.

And then, I had a kidney stone. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a kidney stone before, but it is the most intense pain that anyone can ever have. They left me some kratom to try, and I tried it, and within 15-20 minutes, the pain was finally tolerable, I could move. I was able to make it to the emergency room, to find it was kidney stones. Then the other thing that I noticed is that I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t paranoid anymore. It made me feel good. So then I could start working again, because I was jumping from job to job, because I was paranoid, I was convinced that people were conspiring against me, or something, any time a trigger was set. I started taking kratom, and I was able to hold down a job. I have gone through ministry training, I am now a pastor of a church. I now talk to people all of the time. It’s just been a real life saver. A game changer, if you will, in my life.

Sarah: Right, so essentially what you are saying is, just to recap, is that you actually started taking this for pain, for kidney stones. Then you discovered, almost accidentally, the other effects? Exactly. Sarah: Okay. How long have you been taking kratom? For two years. Sarah: Have you had any ill effects? No, no, once when first trying it, I did take too much, and I got sick. Sarah: You threw up? Yeah, yeah, you throw up, and I never did that again.

Sarah: So you can’t overdose with it? You cannot. You can’t get high from it. Like I said, I’ve never done any illegal narcotics, so.. Sarah: Do you think, without kratom, that you would be able to, you know, get a job? I think that it has helped me with people to the point where I barely use kratom now, but it was a catalyst that got me over. Sarah: So it was fundamental in getting you over the hill? Absolutely.

Sarah: I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you very much. Sarah: Can you start by telling me what your name is? My name is Aaron Walker. Sarah: Hey. Can you tell me why kratom is important to you? Yeah, I take it every day. I have two herniated discs in my back, my L4 and L5. I suffer from sciatic nerve pain. Anybody who’s had that, you know, it sucks. So, I take kratom every day. I was in the military, I injured my back, and they prescribed me a lot of Vicoden and opiates. I just didn’t like the way I felt on them. Fuzzy, like lightheaded. Sarah: Yeah, we’re hearing that a lot. Yeah. Sarah: So, kratom doesn’t have that effect? It does not, no. Matter of fact, I call it the “warm blanket effect”. When you take kratom, after about 20 minutes, everything kinda just washes over you. You feel just warm, and like happy. Sarah: At peace? Yeah, at peace. Exactly. Sarah: How long have you been taking kratom for? Erm, found out about it four years ago. Sarah: Okay, so you’ve been taking it for about four years? Sarah: Have you had any side effects? No, occasionally, like if you take too much, you might feel a little queasy.

That’s the worst of it. Sarah: Okay, so you definitely can’t overdose on it? No, absolutely not. No way. Sarah: Okay. What do you think about the D.E.A. talking about how it causes hallucinations? It’s total crap. Never had a hallucination. The only thing that I feel from kratom is pain relief, and I feel good. That’s it. Sarah: Without kratom, you would have to go back to say, Vicodin, right? I know when I don’t take kratom, because my back starts to get really stiff. I know that if I went back to Vicodin, it sucks. You know. Number one, I feel like I start to need the pills, and I don’t like that feeling. You know, where I feel pain, I feel that I need to take that next pill.

I hate that. I dunno, it’s just fuzziness. That was the worst part about taking all of those opiates. I just felt not clear headed. and I couldn’t drive, or couldn’t do certain things on them. [inaudible] Sarah: So, would you say that you are better able to live your life on kratom? Fully functional. Yeah, you know, when you have back pain, especially debilitating back pain, you are stuck in bed, your work life hurts, your relationship suffers, and that causes a lot of depression. It’s a cyclical effect. You know, the pain, and the depression, and it just brings you down. Kratom absolutely lifts me up, it makes me [inaudible]. Sarah: Well thank you so much for talking to us. You’re welcome. Sarah: Can I start by asking you what your name is? Mike Dombrowski Sarah: Hey Mike.

Is the shirt for real? The shirt is for real. I am a retired EOD bomb tech. Sarah: Okay. Why does kratom matter to you? Kratom to me, it actually turned my life around. away from anxiety and depression. I was on six different antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds that just did not sit well with my cognitive thought process, and about a year after consuming those, I found kratom, and that was back in 2010. I have consumed that since. That’s the only thing that I consume, and it’s just a miracle plant. Sarah: Okay. So, you’ve been using it for six years? Sarah: Do you have any side effects from kratom? None whatsoever. Sarah: How about back when you were using the pharmaceuticals? Oh, absolutely. Yeah, like I said, it impaired by cognitive thought process, you know, just slow, didn’t want to be energetic, do anything with my kids, and I’m a father of two, so back then, I didn’t want to do anything, just sit around, lay around. Now I’m actually energetic, and I can get out and fully function. Sarah: Okay, so you can interact better with your family, lead a normal life now with kratom? Absolutely.

Sarah: Okay, well thank you so much for taking the time. I appreciate it. Sarah: What’s your name? My name’s Kristie. Sarah: Okay, hey Kristie. Can you tell me why you’re using kratom, assuming you are? I have fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. and I do have glaucoma. Sarah: So, is kratom helping with those? It is helping tremendously. The pain medicine that the doctor gave me has barely touched the fibromyalgia pain. Sarah: Okay, so what medication were you on before? I have taken Lortab, Norco, and it just really doesn’t help. Sarah: Those are really strong drugs. Yes. Sarah: Nothing worked, but kratom does? Yes. Sarah: What side effects are you having from kratom? Constipation, that’s about it. Sarah: Okay, all right, how about your mental clarity compared to things like Norco? Norco I really had a lot of fogginess, and lethargy. With kratom, I don’t have that. I’m more clear-headed and can function a lot better. Sarah: You said that you are using it for glaucoma, what is it doing in that regard? I don’t have the pain in my eyes as like I did with anything, since they don’t really give you anything but drops for glaucoma.

Sarah: How long have you been using kratom? Since January. Sarah: Alright, well, thanks for talking to us. Thank you. Sarah: Can you tell me your name? Herschell Clayborn Sarah: Okay. Hey. It’s good to meet you. Can you tell me why kratom is important to you? Kratom is important to me, I’ve got several health issues that started when I was young. It helps tremendously. I’ve got degenerative discs. They just recently found a tumor on my lung, which, instead of taking the steroids, I take kratom. It does help with the swelling, with the pain, it has lowered by A1C levels to the point that they have lowered my medication.

They have completely taken me off the blood pressure medications. Sarah: The kratom lowered your blood pressure? Yes. Sarah: Okay. You said that you have a tumor, is that a cancerous tumor, can you tell me? They are still in the testing phase of that. Sarah: But kratom is helping reduce the size of the tumor? Reduce the size, reduce the swelling, the pain. How long have you been using it? Since December. Sarah: Have you had any ill-effects from kratom? None. Sarah: How about, were you using kratom to replace something else? I’ve been on some hardcore narcotic medications, Oxycontin, Lortab, Tramadol… I don’t have any need for any of them. Sarah: A whole array of painkillers. Sarah: How does kratom make you feel in comparison to those other painkillers? I can promise you, I’m not a lump sitting in a corner somewhere.

We found it to be an irony that people feel like they’re drugged when they’re on things like Norco and Vicodin, and then they go to kratom, which the D.E.A. is trying to make illegal, and they don’t feel “drugged”. They don’t feel impaired. I feel, well, my son said it the best. He’s 16 years old. For the first part of his life, I was not there. I was there, but I wasn’t. Now, I am out, we’re working on his vehicle together, I’m teaching him how to drive, I’m out doing stuff with him, I mean, he believes in it wholeheartedly. He spreads the word around to his friends. Sarah: So in a way, what you are saying is that you have been able to reconnect with your son because of kratom? Yes. My whole family. Sarah: Incredible. Thank you for sharing that with us. Sarah: Can you start by telling me what your name is? My name is Shawn, Shawn Meeser.

Sarah: Can you tell me why kratom matters to you? I originally started taking kratom last year when I found out I had cancer. I took no pharmaceuticals at all for pain, I only took kratom. I had a total hysterectomy, from my pelvic bone up around my belly button. And as soon as they took me off the morphine at the hospital, I went right to dosing with kratom.

I haven’t looked back since. I also used it for depression. I was on anti-depressants for probably about 15 years. Sarah: Right, okay. How long have you been using kratom? Two years. Sarah: Two years, alright, and which did you try it for first, the pain, or the depression? Pain. Sarah: Okay, and did you find out about the assistance with depression because it just happened by itself, almost like a positive side effect, or how did that happen? Once I found out about kratom, then I found out about all of the Facebook groups. Then I started going into the Facebook groups and learning more about it.

They’re the ones who told me that it also helps with depression and anxiety. Sarah: Okay, so, do you take it every day then for depression? Oh, yeah, I take it about six times a day. Sarah: Okay, do you have side effects from kratom? No. Sarah: No? Sarah: And, you said you were using it for the pain from cancer, is that right? Yes. Sarah: Okay, so intense pain. Yeah, burning muscle pain. I have no pain at all using kratom. No pain at all. Sarah: So, it definitely works? Yes. Sarah: Okay, thank you very much. Thank you. Can you tell me your name? My name is Jennifer. Can you tell us why kratom is important to you? Well, I started taking kratom, because it helps with my anxiety and depression. I’ve had anxiety and depression since I was in elementary school. I wanted to find an alternative to all of the drugs I was on. I found kratom. It helps. Sarah: How long have you been using it? About five years. Sarah: Okay, so you’ve been on kratom for five years, have you had any ill-effects from kratom? Nope. Well, the worst, is probably constipation.

But if you take too much of it, you just get nauseous. Sarah: So you can’t overdose? I don’t think so. Sarah: Okay. Thanks for talking to us. Sarah: Hey. Can you tell me what your name is? Richard. Sarah: Hey Richard. Can you tell me why kratom is important to you? Well, kratom has done a lot for me. It really actually helps with my allergies. I’ve had allergies my whole life. I found out about kratom, started taking it, and I’m clear. I mean, it used to be where I could cut the grass, and I’d be in the house for two weeks, just congested. Now, I can cut the grass, take a kratom, and I’m good.

Sarah: How long have you been using it? About a year. Sarah: Had any ill-effects? Nope. Not one bad side effect. Sarah: So, you’ve been using it for allergies mostly? Yeah, for allergies, and energy. I mean, you know, it’s like a good coffee to me. And also, I mean, I’ve got friends, who’re hooked on heroin, and this, I think, could save their lives. Sarah: Right. Now that they’re banning it, I mean, heroin is a big problem right now. Sarah: Yeah, it’s huge. Yeah. Sarah: Alright, well thanks for talking to us. You’re welcome. Sarah: Can you start by telling me your name? My name is Rosanna Garcia. Sarah: Hey. Can you tell me why kratom matters to you? Well, I was diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease in 2006.

For seven years, doctors prescribed me a lot of medications They put me through a lot of treatment, which really helped me much, and I was on narcotics for more than seven years. I was on a pain specialist, and one day my pain specialist decided to kick me out of the program. So, I was going through withdrawals, and I was searching online and I found kratom. Sarah: Okay, just to repeat, you got Chrohn’s disease, you were being treated for seven years, and then the pain specialist kicked you out? Yes. Sarah: Why exactly did they kick you out? Oh, they kicked me out of the program because I kept complaining about my pain pills, they would make me feel a lot of anxiety, and they kept telling me that it was one of the side effects of the pain medication. Sarah: So they kicked you out because the pharmaceuticals created side effects, and you had the audacity to complain about that? Yes. And they switched me from medication to medication, different types of narcotics, and one day the simulator said that it couldn’t help me anymore.

And they also gave me a prescription for a patch, which didn’t really help at all. Sarah: And how long have you been taking kratom? For three years. Sarah: Three years, okay. Sarah: Do you have side effects from kratom? No. Sarah: Okay, how does it make your pain feel? I have no pain with kratom. Sarah: You have no pain? Sarah: Okay, and how about mentally compared to the pharmaceuticals? Well, you can ask my husband, it gave me my life back. I’m more active at home, my kids are happier with the new mom that they have. Sarah: Do you feel like you are more like, for want of a better word, the real you? Of course. Yes. For the whole seven years that I was taking narcotics, I was either sleeping all of the time, I was tired, very moody. Sarah: Okay. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you so much! Sarah: Can you start by telling me your name? My name is Stormy. I’m from New Hampshire. Sarah: Hey. Can you tell me why kratom is important to you personally? To me personally, I suffer from P.T.S.D., chronic pain, depression.

All of the meds that I have to take cost more than $900 a month. I can’t afford it. My son is a heroin addict. I don’t care about me personally, I care about everybody that’s going to lose that option. You know, the people with chronic pain, my passion is more with people with opiate addiction. There’s no help out there. When this is their only option right now, and it just sickens me to think about those who don’t have nothing but heroin and the pills. Sarah: Okay, you were comparing the psychiatric medications with kratom. How does it compare, you know, as far as it being effective? I Very effective. I stopped everything. I stopped all of my psychiatric drugs. Drugs for depression.

Sarah: How about the side effects of kratom? Does kratom have side effects? No. Not a bit. I mean it tastes like dirt. It does. It really does. I mean, recreational use, no. That’s crazy. It tastes like dirt. Sarah: Right. But that’s it. If you take too much of it, the only thing that happens is you throw up. Sarah: How about the pharmaceutical drugs. Did you have side effects from those? Oh yeah. Yeah. Tons of them. I mean, it effects your appetite. It makes you gain weight. It causes additional psychiatric issues, it effects your libido, the list goes down and down. Sarah: Can you start by telling me what your name is? My name is Michael Foote. Sarah: Okay. Hey Michael. Can you tell me why kratom matters to you as an individual? Well, I had a couple of neck surgeries, because my spinal canal was too narrow, and the surgeries were to keep me from becoming paralyzed, but they also caused searing pain to shoot down my arms while I was in, you know, the position that I normally sit in at work, like at the keyboard.

So I couldn’t do my work all day long. So, my wife actually did a lot of research on what I could maybe do, and came across kratom. My doctor was responsible and didn’t get me hooked on Vicodin. Sarah: Okay. So, I had to do something about the pain, so I found kratom, and I have been using it for three years, I am able to use it at work, with no problem, it doesn’t make you loopy, if anything it kind of gets me over that, hump after lunch when you get a little bit tired. But otherwise, the pain just goes away. It works very well. Sarah: Do you have side effects from kratom? Not really. A little bit extra energy, a little bit better mood. Not something I would call “high”. The first time I tried it, honestly, I took too much.

I got really nauseous for about two hours, and then felt perfectly normal afterwards. I tried it again with much less, and it turns out that it’s the only thing that I think of that works really much better when you use as little as possible, so instead of being something that makes you want to take more and more, it something that kind of keeps you in check. You take a lot and you get sick, you take very little bit, it works perfectly.

Sarah: What you’re saying is you can’t overdose with it? Right, no. I really don’t think you could. I mean, it’s powered leaves. You can only cram so much of that down your throat. You know? Sarah: Right. Sarah: So, you use it for pain, do you think you would be able to live your life as you currently do without kratom? It would be really hard. I was getting to the point where I didn’t think I could just sit at my desk all day, I tried a standing desk, I tried changing the height of my monitor.

It was always there for some reason, when I held my arms, you know, level like I’m typing. I don’t know what I’d do, I’m gonna have to figure it out, because it looks like they’re making it illegal. Sarah: Maybe. There are a lot of people here who are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. But, it sounds like you wouldn’t be very happy in that sitation. Yeah, I don’t think I would start taking opiates if I had to, I would probably deal with the pain, but I don’t want to have to do that. That seems like a bad way to live for the rest.. the next 30-40 years. It’s not like my neck’s going to get better as I get older. It’s gonna get worse, so it’s nice to know there’s something out there that doesn’t ruin my life.

Vicodin, Oxycontin, they ruin people’s lives. Methadone and other things they use to get you off of them, they are even worse for some reason! Sarah: I don’t know if you know, but when morphine came out, it was said to help opium addictions, and then when heroin came out, it was said to help with morphine addictions, and here we are today, with them trying to ban kratom of all things. Sarah: But I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Well, one thing I would say, just to be in all honesty, because what you said there, makes a lot of sense. There is a point to be made.

Like I said, I’ve been taking kratom for three years, so about every 6 months, I stop taking it for a while, just to, you know, if you take something all of the time, you wonder what it’s doing to you. So, I have found, that the extent of the withdrawal, and there is some withdrawal, I’m really grumpy for three days, really want to sleep for those three days, I go to work, come home, and sleep. Then about on the fourth day, I’m fine. Sarah: Okay, so compared to like a caffeine addiction? [laughing] I can’t even imagine quitting coffee! Sarah: Right, okay. The headaches, the irritability… no. Sarah: Okay. Well, thank you so much. Thank you. Sarah: Can you start by telling me your name? My name is Cary Cummins Calabrese. Sarah: Hey Carrie. Can you tell me why kratom is an important issue to you? Kratom is an important issue for me because first I personally have experience with kratom for three years now, using it to treat pain and addiction issues, as well as anxiety.

Sarah: You’re fine. I have many, multiple, chronic pain issues, including fibromyalgia, and arthritis, degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, that sort of thing. And of course, doctors put me on strong opiates, oxycontin and oxycodone at the same time. Within a very short time period, I became physically and mentally addicted to them to the point where I would run through my prescription within a week and have 3 weeks left without them, and withdraw once a month. I put myself and my family through quite a bit of problems because of that. One time when I was withdrawing, I just couldn’t feel anymore, so I went to Google and looked for natural withdrawal treatment. Kratom came up. So, I started to look into it, researched it, see what it was, and when I realized that it was just a plant, looked at the side effects and stuff, I decided to give it a try. So, anyway, I got some, and it was just the first dose of it was completely amazing. It took most of my pain away, it took the withdrawals completely away, it took my anxiety level down so that I was able to communicate with people much better.

I have high-functioning autism, and reaching out and talking to people. Like, I wouldn’t be able to do this interview, to be honest with you. I would have to decline. So from that point on, I continued to use kratom, daily, multiple times a day, with no ill effects, and only positive to the point where I was able to get out and start exercising. I dropped about 70 pounds. I went from, you know, a couch potato, to just last week I walked 5k on my own. Sarah: Congratulations! Thank you. I’m pretty proud. Just made me active, and now here I am in Washington, D.C. being an activist, standing up for my rights. It’s not something I could do. Sarah: How long have you been taking kratom? Three years. Sarah: Have you had any side effects from kratom? Not really. Once, I accidentally took my doses a little too close together, just once, and there was a little bit of side effects, but it cleared up really quick. I have ran out of kratom before, and really people talk about withdrawals from that.

Not so. Especially after going through Oxycotin withdrawals, I just, you know, it’s not. Sarah: How about the mental effects of kratom compared to the Oxycodone? I feel like with the Oxycodone that it really clouds my mental accuity. It overpowers, and it kinda takes over, because it becomes all I think about. Sarah: Right, so you feel like you’re not yourself on the Oxycodone? Right. With the kratom, it doesn’t effect… I do feel differently, but it makes me, like I said, more communicative, and able to talk, which is a positive. So, I just feel more relaxed and outgoing. Sarah: So, essentially, you are just overall better able to communicate, you’re in less pain, and you feel like you? Yeah, exactly.

Sarah: Alright. Well, thank you so much for talking to us. Thank you..

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